The Church teaches that the Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian Faith.
But how much do you know about this mystery?
What is its history?
What does it mean?
And how can it be proved?
Here are 12 things to know and share . . .
1. Where does the word “Trinity” come from?
It comes from the Latin word trinitas, which means “three” or “triad.” The Greek equivalent is triados.
2. When was it first used?
The first surviving use of the term (there may have been earlier uses that are now lost) was around A.D. 170 by Theophilus of Antioch, who wrote:
In like manner also the three days which were before the luminaries, are types of the Trinity [Τριάδος], of God, and His Word, and His wisdom. And the fourth is the type of man, who needs light, that so there may be God, the Word, wisdom, man [To Autolycus 2:15].
3. What is the Trinity?
The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains it this way:
The Church expresses her trinitarian faith by professing a belief in the oneness of God in whom there are three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The three divine Persons are only one God because each of them equally possesses the fullness of the one and indivisible divine nature.
They are really distinct from each other by reason of the relations which place them in correspondence to each other.
The Father generates the Son; the Son is generated by the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son [CCCC 48].
4. Is the Trinity the central mystery of the Christian Faith?
Yes. The Compendium explains:
The central mystery of Christian faith and life is the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity.
Christians are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit [CCCC 44].